Jeff grew up in a small town in the mountains of Colorado, an environment
that would shape his values and interests for the rest of his life. He
moved to Arizona in 1986 to attend ASU. After working towards a degree
for a few years to no avail, he joined his dad's business in 1992. There
he learned plastic injection mold design, and has worked in that field
ever since. He most recently was employed at a small manufacturer in
Tempe. He finally obtained a BS degree in Information Technology in 2005.
Jeff's interests include many outdoor pursuits, with hiking, climbing
and skiing being his favorites. Throughout the 1990's he was interested
in mountaineering, and participated in climbing trips to the mountains
of Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, as well as California's Mount Whitney (twice),
Washington's Mount Rainier (twice) and Alaska’s Denali (Mount McKinley).
For the past few years, his climbing interests have been closer to home,
and he and Susan have enjoyed numerous rock-climbing trips throughout
Arizona and other areas of the West.
Susan was born in a suburb of Chicago, but grew up in Racine, Wisconsin
from the age of two. Here she met many of her life-long friends. Annual
family vacations to Arizona sparked a desire to move to the southwest.
After graduating from UW-Parkside with a BA in English, she did just
that. She soon secured employment as a loan closer in the mortgage industry
where she worked for 7 years. Inspired by a part-time tutoring job, Susan
earned her Masters in Education and her reading endorsement.
She taught third grade for 3-1/2 years prior to embarking on this new
Writing has always been Susan’s true love. She has written poetry,
short stories, a novel, two independently-written screenplays, and another
screenplay with a fellow writer and friend. She and Jeff plan to write
a non-fiction narrative about their year-long travels.
Besides writing, other interests include rock climbing, hiking and skiing,
which she acquired an appreciation for after meeting Jeff.
Justin turned three years old in June, 2007. He spent the
entire second year of his life on the road. He is an outgoing and fun-loving
child who, despite being so young, has traveled extensively. Prior to the
road trip and the 39 states he visited, he traveled to Chicago, Utah and Oregon, and made numerous
climbing and hiking trips
with Jeff and Susan to Colorado, Taquitz (Idyllwild, CA), Joshua Tree
National Park and many areas around Arizona.
Justin's interests include reading, dinosaurs, exploring
the outdoors, and talking to anyone who will listen.
We found out on the fifth day of our trip that there would be a new
addition to the family coming in December. We thought about canceling
the trip and settling down early, but decided that as long as we got
all of Susan's prenatal checkups on the road, we should be able to incorporate
a new baby into our travels.
Zane was born on December 22, 2006, after giving us a scare in the delivery
room and sending Susan into the operating room for an emergency c-section.
After an uneventful pregnancy, we were surprised and (initially) devastated
by the news that Zane was born with Trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder
that takes most kids in their first year. (See Update
more information about Zane's diagnosis).
Since he was with us on the first half of the trip (albeit in utero),
we decided to continue the trip and have Zane along for as much of
it as he wanted to experience. Based on the statistics for Trisomy 18,
we didn't know if he'd even make it to the end of the trip. But apparently
road-tripping agrees with him, because he finished the trip with
us. We're grateful for every day we have to spend with him, and we're
that he is now in a house with no wheels and has a more
Susan recently added a slideshow on YouTube to celebrate Zane's second birthday: www.youtube.com/watch?v=35eUxeO6Gs0.